Yom Kippur 2011

Everything you need to know to celebrate the holiday.

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Yom Kippur begins at sunset on Friday, October 7, 2011. It is observed on Saturday, October 8.

What is Yom Kippur?

yom kippur 2010Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement. The day is devoted to communal repentance for sins committed over the course of the previous year. Because of the nature of Yom Kippur and its associated rituals, it is the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar.

•    Read more about Yom Kippur prayer services.
•    Read more about Jewish attitudes toward repentance.

What are some customs and practices for Yom Kippur?

fastingOn Yom Kippur, Jews are commanded to fast as a symbol of atonement. Yom Kippur begins and ends with two special prayers, Kol Nidrei at the start and Neilah to conclude the holiday. Before Yom Kippur, many Jews perform kaparot to symbolically rid themselves of all their sins.

•    Read more about kaparot.
•    Read more about Kol Nidrei.

Does everyone have to fast?

yom kippur 2010While it is a commandment to fast on Yom Kippur, there are exceptions. Children are not required to fast, but as they approach the ages of Bar/Bat Mitzvah (12-13 years old), many are encouraged to fast for part of the day. If a doctor says it is dangerous to fast, one should eat.

•    Learn great recipes for breaking the fast.